- Platform: Xbox
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- Media: Video Game
- Item Quantity: 1
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- Story driven action adventure from the creator of Tomb Raider
- Immersive story unfolds through hours of action, exploration, challenges and discovery
- Completely original world spanning six massive island locations
- Expansive indoor and outdoor environments to explore
- Moves include back-flips, climbing and fighting Shao-lin style
- Different characters bring different skills
- For 1 player
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Galleon has been so long in the making it's become almost something of an urban legend. The first game to be produced by Tomb Raider creator Toby Gard (none of the Tomb Raider sequels had anything to do with him) it has essentially being eight years in the making, having originally been designed for Sega's Dreamcast console.
As is often the case with massively delayed games like this the final product has been rather overtaken by events and its graphics and design are clearly rooted back in the nineties when it was first conceived. The main gimmick with the game is that you do not so much control the lead character as the camera following him pointing him in the right direction and letting the game do the rest. This works up until a point, with the various acrobatics this enables being fairly entertaining, but it's often rather unwieldy and makes it sometimes difficult to predict what reactions your button presses are actually going to yield.
It also makes combat extremely irritating and dull and the seemingly endless training sequences do nothing but convince you the game is far more complex and difficult to play than it really is. When one adds the seriously dated looking graphics to the mix, which are further encumbered by some distinctly unappealing art design, you've got a game that is rather difficult to recommend next to the ostensibly similar, and far superior, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Ninja Gaiden. --David JenkinsSee all Product description
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Top customer reviews
The first thing that strikes you about this title is the unusual graphical style of the characters however, any misgivings with this soon disappear as soon as you see everything moving. It all looks absolutely wonderful - smooth animations on the characters and lush, beautiful environments.
Gameplay wise it is again superb, a good mix of puzzle solving and action throughout combined with an excellent control system make this one of the games, if not THE, game of the summer.
Sound is also excellent with some quite fantastic lip syncs on the main characters.
Overall this is definitely a game to get, true it has a few flaws - I've found that sometimes jumping from standing doesnt always work as well as it should - but this is just a niggle and doesnt really distract you from what is a fantastic title.
My advice - buy it and give it a try.
When you're speeding along wooden bridges jutting out of the sheer rock, leaping and swinging from precariously placed beams and struts, the wind rippling your hair and flapping your coat tails, the sense of exhilaration is unlike almost anything else you've felt in an action game. Quite some feat for an adventure that was originally destined for creaky old (and now defunct!) Dreamcast hardware.
Now on Xbox, it's hard to imagine any other machine mighty enough to power the spectacularly smooth and fast game engine. You thought levels in Mario Sunshine and Prince Of Persia scaled mental heights? Galleon raises the bar into the stratosphere. Literally.
Then there's the character animation and the voice acting that are so incredibly believable you'll swear you're watching a Pixar movie. Or the story, that's as gripping and full of romance and intrigue as Pirates Of The Caribbean. But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Forgive me, but I'm just so excited that something that has taken so long to put together has turned out to be such a gem.
Captain Rhama is the hero of the hour, and it's clear from his chunky jawline, pasty moonface and oddly proportioned limbs that he has been designed by the creator of Lara Croft.
The story too has a whiff of Tomb Raider about it. Rhama is sucked into a web of intrigue as he explores the islands of the Forbidden Sea, tracking a mysterious stolen galleon, and the hidden powers and secrets it holds, negotiating catacombs and ancient towering settlements along the way.
But the similarities to Tomb Raider end there. While Core Design seems to have been content with churning out the same old Lara game year after year, then spectacularly fouling it up with the PlayStation 2 version, Confounding Factor has taken everything that was good about Lara's adventures, and overhauled it all for the next generation - almost beyond all recognition.
Like, for instance, the way your heroes move. Every step, hop and run of each of the game's characters, like Rhama, love interest Faith or dirty sea dog Jabez is animated with delicate movements that perfectly suit each character's personality. Rhama stands proud, chest out, grabbing ledges and swinging swords with all the confidence of a veteran of the seas. Faith is timid and hesitant, Jabez is stealthy and slinky.
ONLY LOSERS FIGHT SOLO
Control too is sublime, though unusual. You control the camera rather than Rhama and he'll follow where you point him. Most of the time it amounts to the same thing as controlling Rhama himself, but really comes into its own when navigating tight areas: as long as you're gentle with the stick and point in the general direction you want to end up in, Rhama will obey.
Better yet, it means when Rhama's dashing at a full, dizzying sprint, he'll automatically scamper across small obstacles or roll under gaps without you having to worry about timing any button presses or slowing down your gallop.
As soon as you recruit new characters during your quest, you can issue them commands using the intuitive inventory system. Using the right stick to cycle through options while still playing the game with the left stick if you want to, you can get Faith to heal Rhama or others, or get help negotiating puzzles. It's dead clever, and the witty way the heroes chat to each other while co-operating is perfectly in keeping with the strong story and character-driven gameplay (see Do As I Say Bee-Yatch, boxout).
The puzzles themselves are as varied and imaginative as any found in The Wind Waker, and perhaps even more acrobatically demanding than the leaping and spinning of Prince Of Persia. They're totally logical too. At one point Rhama needs to fix a broken lift. There's no battery handily lying around, though. Instead, you need to find a peg to attach the lift car to the pulley, but when you find it the peg is bent out of shape.
It's up to you to find a fiery room where the boat-makers forge their metal and bend the peg back into shape. To do this though, you need to first find a hammer with which to mould the peg back into shape and some water to cool the whole thing down afterwards. It's entertaining, engaging and a totally believable way to fix the problem you've encountered.
There's usually more than one way to tackle the platform puzzles too and replaying sections you've previously struggled with to find new routes, new ways of winning and exciting secret treasures only adds to the pure 100 per cent proof feeling of joy you get from playing.
LOVING THE MAIN SAIL
Galleon's an awesome game, but it's hard to appreciate just how spectacular it is without seeing the thing in motion. When you see the intricacies of the character animation, or witness the precise way each beam, platform and trap has been designed so it sits in the perfect place for you to negotiate, that's when you understand just how much love and craft has gone into making Galleon a golden nugget of gaming excellence.
There are numerous problems with the game that may well disappoint players, but if you bear in mind it's a retro game, not an Xbox game, then you'll see the ingenuity of it's construction and how Toby Gard strived to make what he hoped would be a great game.
It's control system was obviously a labour of love for them, a great idea that doesn't work as well as you'd hope. Once you get used to it, it generally works okay, bar the odd unintentional back flip into oblivion... Which brings me to character animation which it possibly the best thing about the graphics. The textures are solidly in the N64 camp, the architecture is up with the best moments in Lara Croft (the vertigo inducing moments the original offered), but perhaps not as dazzling as Zelda N64 (I liked the Water Temple). There are bugs, like the bug that made Rhamas feet smoke throughout my play, the annoyances of B-Button lock-ons to control useless partner characters, the stupid time challenges and boss fights, and awkward control moments that led to unfair death plunges. I bust a controller in anger, so buy some spares in advance...
In the end it was the Lara Croft killer, that sadly got lost sailing into the Bermuda triangle. Still Toby Gard must have laughed his guts out when Edios dropped THAT steaming turd of a game! Lara Croft has made herself irrelevant, however good the games get in the future. It's a shame Gards salty sea dog won't be back for a deserved encore.His game would have improved, if Gards genius could be held to deadlines! Hopefuly Gard will get another chance to dazzle game players, and outshine his Tomb Raider past.
Buy this game at a bargain price, don't expect cutting edge, expect a flaw or ten, some frustration at a game still unfinished and it will be an interesting treat.